Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This Will Make You Smarter edited by John Brockman

Each year, the Edge Foundation poses a question to the world's scientists; people that lead the world in various fields. The answers get edited and then printed and bound as a book. A very interesting book I might add. When I first chose to read this book, I wondered if I would understand the question , let alone the answers. I think that scientists talk amongst themselves and are understood, but talking to a layman is another thing completely!

The questions for 2011 was: What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?  (So I understood this as a concept that would improve our powers of reasoning)

The thing I liked about this book was that you didn't have to jump in and read uninterrupted the many different answers. Each answer is given it's own chapter and title, each is a short essay. Some answers will be useful in your everyday life, some may be useful with something you are struggling with but all will provoke thought. Isn't that what a good book does?
I found some insight into fear/risk with two essays on uncertainty. Another essay , "Each of us is ordinary, yet one of a kind"  by Samuel Barondes is particularly interesting. By being ordinary, we find compassion for others. By being one a kind, we find creativity and pride. 
So, I can easily recommend this book, it will definitely make you smarter. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Between a Rock & a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson

....or ...Why Fifty is the New Fifty.  Oh, come on, not the new thirty? I am so guilty of saying this. I think I say it so often as to convince myself !! Tracey Jackson tells it like it is and I don't really want to hear it, but I am listening. She is right, though. No matter how great my hair, skin & makeup look for "someone my age", there is no way I could keep up with a thirty year old today. Some days I can't even get out of my own way ! 
Turning fifty was a life altering experience, as will be turning sixty. Forty didn't bother me in the least. I wasn't ready to change my life back when I was forty. I was just barely ready at fifty proper. Jackson tells us to get ready for the change, but not our mother or grandmother's "change" ! At fifty it is time to change the way we think , more than anything else. 
Jackson tells us about her experience with hormone replacement, do I or don't I? Eye lifts..what if I end up looking like a cat?  Most of it is hilarious , some of it is poignant but mostly it is honest. 
I whole-heartily recommend this book for woman who are approaching fifty and those of us that have gone beyond. It is time to enjoy life and to have a few laughs.